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Una logica progressista del commercio

CAMBRIDGE – Il regime del commercio globale non è mai stato molto popolare negli Stati Uniti. Neppure l’Organizzazione Mondiale del Commercio e le moltitudini di accordi commerciali regionali, come l’Accordo di libero scambio nord americano (NAFTA) e la Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), hanno mai avuto un grande sostegno da parte del pubblico. Per contro, l’opposizione a questi accordi è sempre stata ampia e diffusa.

Ma a differenza del passato, oggi il commercio internazionale è arrivato al centro del dibattito politico. Per entrambi i candidati alle elezioni presidenziali statunitensi, Bernie Sanders e Donald Trump, l’opposizione agli accordi commerciali ha infatti un ruolo chiave nelle loro campagne, e, a giudicare dal tono usato dagli altri candidati, il sostegno alla globalizzazione sembra rappresentare in generale un suicidio elettorale nell’attuale clima politico.

La retorica populista legata al commercio potrà anche essere esagerata, ma pochi ormai negano che le proteste di fondo siano reali. La globalizzazione non ha infatti comportato vantaggi per tutti. Molte famiglie di lavoratori sono state distrutte dall’impatto delle importazioni a basso costo provenienti dalla Cina e altrove, mentre i grandi vincitori sono stati i finanziatori e i professionisti specializzati che hanno potuto approfittare dei mercati allargati. Se da un lato la globalizzazione non è stata l’unica (o la più importante) causa della disuguaglianza nelle economie avanzate, dall’altro ha sicuramente contribuito al fenomeno.

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